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KTown Cowboys’ Wrangles a Different Side of Los Angeles

A film centers around a group of dysfunctional yet lovable man-children trying to carve out a piece of the American pie, set in the colorful, haunting din of Los Angeles. If it sounds like another HBO bro-series, think again.

"Ktown Cowboys," a film that grew out of a popular web series, just made its world premiere at this year’s SXSW. It was co-produced by actor Ken Jeong and features the likes of Daniel Dae Kim, of Lost and Hawaii 5-0 fame; Eric Roberts; and comedians Danny Cho and Steve Byrne.

"Ktown Cowboys" is set in the eponymous Koreatown, a huge, sprawling Korean community set smack in the middle of Los Angeles. Nearly two decades ago, Koreatown witnessed some of the most violent spasms of the Los Angeles riots. Today Koreatown is a calmer, if still dramatic, neighborhood home to countless Korean BBQ spots, bars, and various small businesses.

The show is being compared to the HBO man-centric comedy Entourage, and similarly features the exploits of a group of young men searching for happiness amongst the endless rounds of karaoke and shots of liquor. Notable is the range of Korean-American experiences represented: there’s the struggling comedian, the corporate warrior under investigation by the FBI, the liquor store owner’s son, and the aggro barfly. Also featured are various Korean-American cultural nuances, ranging from “booking” (a dance club practice with matchmaking undertones) to social titles that are at once respectful and flirtatious.

Koreatown’s frenetic energy has frequently been the source of inspiration for various creators eager to capture the hectic lifestyle of young Korean professionals. The reality show K-Town found some traction following MTV's Jersey Shore wave, and was a more unapologetic take on the Koreatown party scene and its denizens.

"Ktown Cowboys" was written by Danny Cho and Brian Chung, and directed by Daniel Park, who also directed the web series.

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